Israel Discount Bank Poaches New CEO From Rival Bank Hapoalim

With retail specialist Lilach Asher-Topilsky at the helm, three of Israel’s five leading banks will be women.

Sivan Aizescu
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Sivan Aizescu

Israel Discount Bank has tapped as its new CEO Lilach Asher-Topilsky, the head of Bank Hapoalim’s retail division and deputy chief executive.

“I believe that Lilach will quickly fit into Discount Group and lead it with determination and success to new heights,” Discount Chairman Yossi Bachar said on Thursday.

Asher-Topilsky’s starting date has yet to be determined, but outgoing CEO Reuven Spiegel has asked to be allowed to stay on until April. With Asher-Topilsky’s appointment, three of Israel's five largest banks will be led by women; Bank Leumi is headed by Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, and First International Bank of Israel by Smadar Barber-Tsadik.

Asher-Topilsky had been one of two leading candidates to succeed Hapoalim CEO Zion Kenan, whose contract expires in four years. The other candidate is Shimon Gal, the head of Hapoalim's corporate banking division. Hapoalim and Leumi are Israel’s two biggest banks.

Asher-Topilsky, 43, has served in a variety of management roles at Hapoalim since 1998. She won praise for her reforms as head of the retail division of the bank with its 280 branches and 7,000 employees since 2009.

She received her BA in economics and management from Tel Aviv University and her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

New Israel Discount Bank CEO Lilach Asher-TopilskyCredit: Moti Milrod
A Discount Bank branch. Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Bank Leumi's Rakefet Russak-AminoachCredit: Nir Keidar
First International's Smadar Barber-TsadikCredit: Ofer Vaknin

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